See How to Apply for Watertown’s COVID-19 Rental Assistance Program

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The Town of Watertown provided the following information:

The Watertown Housing Partnership has set up an Emergency Rental Assistance Program for Watertown renters who have lost income and are having trouble paying rent as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This assistance is temporary and will provide assistance for up to three months to Watertown renters not receiving other government rental assistance and earning below 80% of Area Median Income. Assistance is for up to $750 for a 1-bedroom apartment, $950 for a 2-bedroom apartment, and $1,150 for a 3-bedroom apartment.

Anyone interested in applying should contact Robyn Rufo at Metro West Collaborative directly for an application (robyn@metrowestcd.org or 617-923-3505 ext. 5). Applications are due to Metro West Collaborative by Thursday, September 24. For more details, see this flyer.

More details about the program can be seen below:

Watertown Emergency Rental Assistance Program

In response to the loss of income to households due to COVID-19, this program has been created and funded by the Town of Watertown’s Housing Partnership utilizing affordable housing funds. This program seeks to be efficient and responsive. It is temporary in nature. Applicants are eligible for:

Up to three months rental assistance (future or arrearage payments beginning 10/1/20)

Amounts available are:

  • $750 / month for a 1-bedroom
  • $950 / month for a 2-bedroom
  • $1150 / month for a 3-bedroom

Household Eligibility

“Eligible” Household

An eligible household is one that:

  • Has reduced income because of Covid-19
  • Earns less than 80% of Area Median Income
  • Households currently receiving government-funded rental assistance such as Section 8, MRVP or RAFT are not eligible. Households living in public housing or in units subsidized with Project Based Section 8 are also not eligible.

A “household” shall mean an individual or two or more persons who will live regularly in the unit as their principal residence and who are related by blood, marriage, law, or who have otherwise evidenced a stable inter-dependent relationship.

Income and Asset Eligibility

The total current income of the applicant and all other members of the applicant’s household over the age of eighteen (18) may not exceed 80% of the Area Median Income for the Boston-Cambridge-Quincy area adjusted for family size. An applicant’s total household income cannot exceed the following limits:

Household size / Income Limit 80% area median:

1 person – $67,400

2 person – $77,000

3 person – $86,650

4 person – $96,250

5 person – $103,950

6 person – $111,650

Process

All potential participants must complete an application and attach requested documents prior to the deadline. All complete applications will be entered into a Lottery if one is necessary.

Assistance with the submission of the application is available to those with limited computer access.

Applicants have the right to request a reasonable accommodation(s), which may include a change to a rule, policy, procedure or practice to afford a person with a disability an equal opportunity to participate fully in the housing program.

Free language assistance is available to households with limited English proficiency.

The Lottery, if one is necessary, will be held via zoom. Applicants will be given access to the zoom meeting.

All applicants will then be drawn and assigned a Lottery Wait List number in the order they were drawn.

Starting at the top of the list, households will be offered the opportunity to enter into a Rental Assistance Agreement with their landlord and Metro West CD in the order listed on the Reordered Lottery Wait List.

If the household is unable to execute a Rental Assistance Agreement within five days of being offered the assistance they will be removed from the Reordered Lottery Wait List and the next highest ranked household will be offered the opportunity.

Metro West CD will proceed through the list in this manner until all funds are awarded.

Households who contact the Metro West CD office after the deadline will be added to the bottom of the Re-ordered Lottery Wait List in the order received.

Removal from the Lottery Wait List

Households who do not respond to phone, e-mail, or mail inquiries or who do not respond to a request for additional information within the time frame provided shall be removed from the Lottery Wait List.

Affirmative Marketing Methods

Metro West CD does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, disability, familial status, sex, age, marital status, children, sexual orientation, genetic information, gender identify, ancestry, veteran/military status or membership.

Marketing Activities

Marketing activities will be conducted for a three-week period beginning September 3, 2020 and ending September 24, 2020. The Lottery if needed will be on September 29, 2020; checks start October 1, 2020.

Outreach efforts consist of:

1) Town COVID-Response website pages
2) Email outreach to local employers and non-profit organizations, housing developments with affordable units, and the legislative delegations.
3) Local newspaper and other local social media sites.

Applications received after the deadline will be added to the bottom of the list and awarded funds in the order received until funds are fully committed.

Applications will be available on-line at the Metro West CD website, or via paper and the US Postal Service. In all cases the process begins by contacting the Metro West CD office. The staff of Metro West CD are available to assist individuals in the completion of their application and
are able to accommodate households with disabilities that may impede their ability to complete the application. Metro West CD staff can also arrange for assistance for households that have limited English proficiency. Applicants have the right to request a reasonable accommodation, which may include a change to a policy, procedure or practice to afford a person with a disability an equal opportunity to participate fully in the housing program

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